When I started writing for CraftBeerAustin.com back in 2015, my first series of articles was about Women in Beer. I am happy to announce that thanks to the ladies of the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society, I am bringing back the Women in Beer series. This edition features Colleen Hogan, cellaring, and packaging for Jester St. Elmo Brewing.
Describe your average week. What are you responsible for?
I work in the tasting room at Jester King Brewery. I’m responsible for beer line cleaning and shuffling kegs/cases to their respective places. Beer pouring, storytelling and sometimes I herd goats. On an average week I’m there all weekend and some change so come out and say hello!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I absolutely love everyone I work with. We talk about terroir a lot here at Jester King and the people definitely make this place special. Working next to people that share the same interest in beer and fermentation is comforting. We all take part in sharing and learning from each other. It’s been an extraordinary experience so far. Being outside on a farm is therapeutic. We just opened up a beautiful two mile long nature trail that I fully take advantage of on my days off.
What challenges have you faced in this or previous roles in the beer industry?
Does the pandemic shutting everything down in March of 2020 count as a challenge? I’m incredibly lucky to have only been furloughed for two months. Reopening Jester King with a completely different service model was difficult. Took a lot of work and I feel like we executed it safely.
Most women in the beer industry will agree with me that mansplaining is incredibly common. For me personally, it’s not tolerated and I’ll let someone know if it’s happening. Honestly, I haven’t experienced any toxic male energy in the workplace since I worked in beer bars years and years ago. I’ve left interviews before thinking “No way, that place has total ‘boys club’ vibes.” It’s hard to put into words but it’s 100% a thing. Ladies will back me up on that.
How long have you been working in the beer industry? What did you do before this role?
I’ve been in the beer industry for about 4 or 5 years. My love for beer started while serving at Banger’s on Rainey Street. After about two years there, I slung beer for a while at Scholz Biergarten. I was part of the opening team at The Brewers Table and worked with Drew Durish in the brewery. That was my first experience on the production side and I miss it very much (and Drew, we all miss that guy.) After a little over a year, I moved on to working the tasting room at Jester King. Where I have been now for just about two years.
If someone asked you to describe the current state of today’s craft beer climate what would you say?
Savvy and creative during these difficult times. Beer bars charging less for beer cause they have to charge customers for “chips and salsa”. Breweries building out patio space in parking lots. Charge me for a bag of beer nuts every round, but I really only want one bag. Whatever keeps your doors open. Cheers to every taproom that was thrown for a loop when TABC flip-flopped. Cheers to every brewery that reconstructed its entire service model to stay compliant and keep people safe. We all know it’s not easy.
Has Pink Boots played a role in your career? If so, how?
Pink Boots has definitely played a role in my career. While I was shadowing Drew at the Brewers Table, he suggested I check it out. At first, I was a little hesitant. I remember how nervous I was at my first meeting, not really knowing anyone. I’m so glad I did it. Since then, there’s been a lot of networking, brew days and I’ve made some great industry friends. I love and appreciate all the support we show each other. Pink Boots helps me further my education. These ladies are inspiring and I feel lucky to be a part of the Austin chapter. Next month I will be celebrating two years as a PBS member!! I encourage anyone interested to come to a meeting and see what we’re about.
What question(s) are you tired of answering/getting asked?
“What girly beer do you have?” What year is it?! (a grown woman once asked me that question)
What beer are you currently enjoying the most?
I enjoy anything lagered, any time of the year. Looking forward to Live Oak Gold hitting the shelves soon. Jester King just came out with a Munich-style Helles Lagerbier that is incredible (And perfect for gunners).